According to the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the increase in the first six months of the year was almost double the 6.9% rise recorded in the first half of 2017, attributed to a rise in demand from the U.S. market. The EU is reported to have criticised the Cambodian government’s human rights record and has stated that it is reconsidering its Everything but Arms (EBA) programme for Cambodia. As a Least Developed Country (LDC) Cambodia benefits from the most favorable regime available under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), the EBA scheme.
Other destinations for Cambodian garments and footwear include Canada, Japan, and China, whose increasing demands are expected to offset the potential impact of the EBA suspension.
In 2017, the value of the sector’s exports increased +9.5% in value over 2016, to US$8.02 million, and about 10% in volume. The footwear segment is said to have continued to grow in importance in the year, up +14.4% to US$873 million. The garment and footwear accounted for 72% of the country’s total merchandise exports in 2017